President/Chief Pilot of Cheers Over California, Inc. in Sacramento. Owner/Chief Pilot Cheers Aerial Media. Lead pilot/Operator for RE/MAX balloon program, Northern California region. Website: www.cheersovercalifornia.com
The sport of hot air ballooning is one of the most beautiful, exciting, and challenging endeavors I know. Every flight is a different experience. Ballooning is "weather dependent" and the flying season runs from spring into the fall. Balloons fly soon after sunrise so it's an early sport (come watch the sunrise). We are usually done by 10 or 11 a.m. (sometimes earlier) so the rest of your day is free.
Hot air balloons are aircraft and are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). I am a pilot licensed by the FAA. As a private pilot (versus "commercial") I do not charge a fee for rides. However, I do ask that folks RSVP and then show up for 3 events to learn and appreciate all that the sport entails. After 3, you officially qualify as "crew" and are eligible for a no fee ride. No prior experience is necessary. As the pilot, I am responsible for crew training.
We all work together for a common goal. The contribution of each crew member is personal, unique, and valuable. It is a collaberative work/play environment. There is physical work (individual challenges can be accommodated).
Ballooning is intellectual and spiritual. It's mechanical and serene. It is sometimes fast. It is sometimes leisurely. It takes focus and concentration.
All that said, the overriding goal is to HAVE FUN! (and meet new, like-minded people)
If this all sounds appealing, come on out. See if you like it.